Earlier today, I talked about having a conversation with a friend about “naturally thin/lean” people not having to obsess over food. This was something that she had found through her own journey with food/exercise. I think that, overall, she has a point. However, while I fit into the “naturally thin/lean” category, I definitely do not fit into the “does not obsess” category. Just go to my dancing page to see why.
Even though I’ve come a long way since then, I still do not think I have a completely healthy relationship with food. When I say that, I mean that on some days I’m totally fine but on other days I’m not. I can’t tell you how many times in a given week I’ll complain to Mat that “I feel fat.” To which he responds by giving me a look of “wtf?” and saying, “babe, you’re not fat.”
“I KNOW,” I tell him. “But I FEEL fat.”
And so it goes.
I’ll put on a swimsuit so we can go soak in the jacuzzi and stare at myself critically in the mirror. I can see vertical lines on the sides of my abs from all the crunches, mason twists, planks, and running (and ballet of course) and I know I have enviable abs, yet I often think hmm I don’t know…I want to really SEE the muscles…
Maybe it’s too much Olympics watching? Too much of seeing swimmers and track runners with crazy to-die-for 6 packs? Maybe it’s simply being way too hard on myself?
What’s funny is that my abs are actually the part of my body I like. It’s because if I gain weight, I gain it in my butt and thighs first (like most women). So if I get myself started on analyzing the “largeness” of my butt there’s a problem. Yet I can fit into a juniors size 0 jeans if I want to. I know, now you’re thinking WTF Melissa. You’re insane.
Trust me, right now I’m also saying “WTF” to myself. I know I sound absolutely crazy. I know anyone who has known me for a decent amount of time has been thinking since they began reading this that I’m a nutcase. But if you’ve known me for a decent amount of time you’ll also know how much ballet and other things shaped my thinking about food and body image while growing up. It’s not easy to shake that line of thinking.
I definitely go through phases though. There are times, even for months at a stretch, where I feel truly happy with myself. I’m comfortable in my own skin and while I know I’m not perfect, I feel confident. In fact, I often feel confident in public because deep down I know I’m in shape and eat well and just generally take care of myself. It’s in private, when I start to get too hard on myself, that I go wacky. (I’m a total Type A. Can you tell?)
Does any of this make any sense? Probably not. But I think it’s important to reflect once and a while, even if in reflecting you’re not sure if you’ve made any progress or not.
So what does this leave me with…I really don’t know. All I know is that thinking about it is not always bad. Hopefully reflecting more often will help me to make positive changes and help me to not be so hard on myself.